Hello, everyone welcome to skill capped. My name is jack and in this guide, we’ll be opening up our strategy book from the recent pop flash north american tournament. Pop flash was the last leg of the na ignition series featuring top na teams like team envy, sentinels cloud9 team solomid and more we’ll be going over killjoy’s first major impact in the pro metagame and how teams are using valorum’s newest agent to facilitate both attacks and Defenses on maps like ascent and split and we’ll take an in-depth look at the best strategies used on haven throughout this tournament.
Whether you’re grinding rank solo, trying to improve or running with your team and trying to coordinate new strats. This video will have something for you to start getting more kills and winning more games, but before we get into that, are you struggling to win gunfights? Well, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered at skillcap.com, you’ll. Finally, learn how to level up your aim. Different techniques to win gunfights and so much more. We have professional courses on every single agent map and mechanic in valorem. This is backed by the top pros players and coaches to make sure you’re getting the most up-to-date and accurate info possible.
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Well, here, c9, are in a situation that can slip out of control very fast. They are defending against saving envy players just doing whatever they can to keep the economy close. While they try and scrap for a spike plant and some picks as defenders, you want to strike a good mix of being able to hold the key positions, not allow the attackers to get too much remap control, but also not get too aggressive and give pistol players. A rifle for free the round starts with c9 having two players towards long, a two players inside of mid garage and the remaining omen. In short, a this spread is very effective for one thing, funneling attackers into a b or c hit immediately c9 are going to shoot all the way up to the top of long, a and more or less confirm that there’s no one here.
This allows mitch to immediately start rotating to bolster the other two sites. Our perspective cuts to the other two defenders in garage, and this sequence works out great, but the long a intel c9 could safely say that either the attackers are creeping big garage or long c b is the least likely here as we’ll get into it later. Bezel is never a first choice for a side. Take and that’s the case here. Envy smokes the garage window and begins the push. Bias, hits a good shot through smoke and the other players walk right into tens. Looking at the mini-map, as this happens, you can see that envy have been given the c-sign. This is intentional, as instead of having one or two players scrapped with the possible c brush and giving the saving players better weapons c9 fully want to play retake in this round.
That’S not always the case as we’ll get into later, but in this particular scenario, because it’s an anti-eco, they are more willing to play a retake because they did such a good job of not giving the attackers what they wanted. As ampy star’s spike plant. Four c9 players swap into sight get the picks and win the round. Moving on to our next round. Staying in the same series, we’re going to go over the most standard of standard seat takes and explore as well the idea of lurking and how to separate yourself as someone who does a proper lurk and someone who is just being useless to the team heading into The round things are going to move slow for the first 10 to 15 seconds envy, as opposed to other n8 teams really prefers a slow, methodical style of play. It was not uncommon across this tournament for them to run the clock down to the very last moments and then bursting onto their sights.
This is a great strategy with good coordination and utility to cover the flanks, but it’s also high risk, because overly aggressive defenders can spoil the plan quite easily and oh who’s, that creepy now mid. It’S good old tents, creeping to the window, stairs waiting for attackers to cross the garage. Tens is going to sit here for a long time, while the envy player is slowly positioned for the seat. Long push and eventually we see envy’s leader, fns creep out mid to garage, and at that moment everyone is screaming at their monitors for tens to get the frag. But as we talked about in our previous videos, trigger discipline is something that really separates the pros from everybody else. Tens could just frag fns immediately and get good value out of it. From our perspective as spectators, we know that there isn’t anyone behind him, but from tenza’s perspective, it’s easy to assume that someone could be in window or by boxes in mid backing up their leader, so he waits and relays the intel that one is in garage and Odds are it’s a c take jumping to the good old trusty overhead view.
Let’S talk about what’s going into this c hit, the envy players are going to slow creep up cu long and get to the cubby position from here. They can execute everything they need for this. Take traditionally omen would smoke for garage and c-link, but here envy will leave garage open in case fns decides to push through instead of lurking in mid with that ullman will smoke, link and launch a paranoia right through the heart of sight, stunning players near garage behind The double stack, as well as behind big box on site, as this is happening phynks, will use his firewall to cut the site in half this, for me, is the most non-standard part of this take, but i actually really like what this does with the wall. Up defenders can’t safely swing from the garage spawn side to peek into sea long. It also allows phoenix to safely curve ball through the wall and burst through the clean in order.
The double stack garage logs then swing around big box onto sight as the phoenix and killjoy execute that getting rid of the only defender on site. You can see oman teleport into the back corner and clear that as well platform is a very powerful position, and the phoenix wall also did the double duty of isolating that potential defender. If they were there, so envy have sliced obscene one of the best takes i’ve ever seen and have gone the spike down. So how does fns factor in well he’s there to disrupt the rotates? It’S very common for defenders coming from a and b to swing through mid to go either on the sea, long flank or split for garage control, and that’s where the lurk benefits. Envy immensely for those less familiar lurking is an attacking playstyle, where someone plays alone and separate from the rest of the team in a bid to get more intel and disrupt the defense with unexpected picks.
The problems can be that it’s easy for lurks to be useless. If not played correctly, let’s say that instead of outside garage fns was down a long at this point in the round. He would be absolutely useless and if things went pear-shaped on c, he would not be able to get back in time to have any impact on the round. Lurking very much relies on the ability to simultaneously be separated to find key map control. Apart from the main take, but not so far away that you can’t be useful to your team in the round here, fns strikes the ballast perfectly, despite tens having intel on him early on, he neglects the chances that f s may not be in garage and gets Fragged from here fns is in disruptor mode.
He quickly moves towards b to continue messing with the c9 retake setup he gets picked by mitch, but the damage is done, c9, moved to save and envy take the round in commanding fashion. I think it’s important to note that as a game gets deeper and deeper, generally teams will start to take more gambles, especially if the game feels like a total stalemate, as it did in this match. Between c9 and envy, it’s gone the full distance. If we find ourselves here in overtime playing out the first round and c9 tried to go for a gamble that just doesn’t pay off. In the end, the round starts in c9, stack two into b side and two into a and one into garage, conceding mid c long and c site.
Now some of the setup makes sense to me a is by far the hardest site to hold a retake and thus is by far the most contented part of the map. So here, where it really matters, i can respect wanting to not have a garage or b player to have that third body a but ignoring c reinforcing b. That’S what makes so little sense to me. If you repel an a attack, it makes sense. I guess that the attackers might pivot for a quick b, but generally i’ve seen it more often that teams instead go for c longer garage control. In that scenario, it just seems like such a gamble to have the only thing reinforcing c be a cipher camera and one person passive inside of garage when you boil it down c, might be the worst site to defend on haven a at least offer some. Some good power positions for defenders, while being a miserable, absolute terrible thing to try and retake if lost but c, really is wide open to attackers and very narrow for the defense as such is quite common to see. Operators backed up with cipher and or omen utility to really lock down the site, while other defenders reinforce the garage flank.
So without that you have to contest a heavy retake, and, unlike the previous round, you don’t have the economic advantage to bolster that retake effort. Also, keep in mind that, even if your defender loses a sign and the scuffle that they lose that’s time for your team to get the rotate going, it’s a lot hard to start your rotate all the way from a when the spike is just planted. Now, while we’ve been chatting about this, the round has been playing now, it’s a very slow start. Due to this methodical approach from envy. I think this is their default based on watching them play haven throughout this tournament, set up utility to cover flanks with killjoy more to come on her by the way and cipher and probe towards a see. What’S going on probe towards mid see, what’s going on, then make a slow shift into a c hit after about a minute, it’s very systematic, and i like how well organized it is. It also has the side effect of completely messing with the gamble from c9. In this round c9, don’t get the intel of what envy are doing until one minute and 20 seconds have elapsed and the first bit intel is them realizing that envy have spoiled the gamble and taken c for free.
We now enter into a very weird situation. It’S a 5v5 retake, let’s pause and look at the mini map. We have three attackers on site, one down c long and good old fns lurking outside the garage. By contrast, we have four defenders on c link with one player rotating from a late. By the time they are ready to execute the retake it’s impossible to get a flank through mid to sea, long or pinched garage as we mentioned prior. It’S all the meat grinder to try and trade for side control. Envy creates about 20 seconds of delay with almond and phoenix utility really making the timing on this type for c9. If they don’t get their picks fast. The route is lost, caboose swings with a curveball from backside and gets picked by mitch, with nothing gained. Meanwhile, calypso and akus reinforce the site with a pick of their own, as fns moves into garage mitch bursts from logs for a second and third pick, and suddenly it’s not looking good for envy. Fns creates much needed pressure by fragging shinobi in garage and letting them know.
The remaining defenders are on site, mummy, swings and frags mitch, diffusing before fully covered by a cipher cage, a crucial mistake, tens frags fns on the fly with the op and it’s a 2v1 with a defusal can moment. Do it mummy grabs the pick on vice, forcing tens to try and get him as he scurries back to cubby? Tens falls back to get the spike to halfway defused, leaving himself vulnerable to the final pick for mummy in a miraculous clutch. I think had c9 put a defender on c who got even one pick or given them more time to rotate. I think they win this round, despite being at such a heavy disadvantage, they only ended up losing the round due to individual excellence from envy. But if you can maneuver your team to be in better positions from the start, then you don’t have to throw it up to the star players to scrap for the w moving to the grand finals for our next few haven rounds. I want to talk about why b site is often the second choice for attackers and low priority immediately for defenders.
If we go into a private match and just walk around b-site, i think the issues with it stand out quite clearly, because it’s a single hallway entrance for attackers. Unless you go through a site or c garage, it’s a natural chokepoint. You have immediate hard, 90 degree angles to check on both sides, as well as height variants in both those locations. You have the giant box in the middle of sight of scaring the back and any defenders who might be there. Then you also have to grapple with both connectors. In short, it’s very unattacker, friendly with the most standard of standard b, takes being a sage wall or smokes to cut off the right or left side. Pushing them along enough to get the plant then immediately falling back into mid to hold the post plan. But even then you run into the next issue for attackers. If you fall back to mid, the defense gets everything in the world to set up and mode through the retake on the defensive side. Briefly, this ability to retake easily is why most teams tend to ignore or very loosely hold b, it’s just easier than putting hard control in the early parts of the round.
All of that is to preface that envy, in my opinion, solved the b, take and executed perfectly. This rain is a total switch up for the envy players and it’s much needed having gone down 8-0 in the first map of the finals. It’S bad sentinels are infamous now for running away with games at the drop of the hat. So it’s crucial for envy to pick up some rounds to rebound on their defensive half as we’ve covered already. Envy are well known for the methodical pace on attack and they are going to abuse them to move much faster in this round and go for the b hit as a dedicated strat. So the strike is executed, like this envy, secure, mid control early into the round, while maintaining the intel utility of cipher and kilojoy to cover the flags for both a and c as they scrap with and push off.
The sentinel defenders, who were probing mid from here. The take is very simple: omis smokes, the seaside, connector and envy pushes hard into b site while the plant goes down. Two players continue aggressing past b into the a connector to secure one half of the site. They push shazam all the way back into ahaven and are able to secure the pick on him. This also causes sick to rotate through defense, spawn to help shazam and gets picked himself at this point. The differences are clear: instead of backing off into mid envy, keep pushing through to a to make sure that the avenues for retake are much harder to get to. For the defenders with that, the defense can’t set up the retake and envy get their first round on the board with a crucial bit of innovation. Moving to the very next round, i want to point out a cool parallel. I’Ve seen develop on haven for my csgo fans.
I think it’s easy to see. Over the last few months it’s gradually been prioritized to control long, a on haven at all costs. This goes for both the defense and offense. Almost all rounds start with pressure towards the position, and teams are starting to allocate more resources towards it. The reason is quite simple: a is the most important side on the map. Taking it can be an instant win, especially in normal, ranked play and holding it as defense prevents the nightmarish retakes that we all despise for me, this almost directly lines up with how people play de inferno specifically b sight and banana control. It’S a long, narrow lane prone to utility spam and sniper holes and losing it can lead to one of the worst retakes for the defense and one of the best post plans for the attackers watch how this round plays out sendless start out with shazam and dapper.
Taking the quick peek towards the top of aidlong shaz with the trusty magic stick in his hand and at first it looks real good sentinels nailing two quick picks and suddenly it looks a lot like holding top banana poor dabber gets hit by hot hands and nano Swarms like a ct, getting mollied off a car and gets picked, shazam gets counter-ops like he got hit from logs and suddenly envy swung the round back in their favor and stormed the site. This engagement happens frequently now at the pro level, and i think it’s something that will disseminate into the general metagame. It makes a lot of sense for defense to contest long a early and despite it failing for signals here, i think it’s something to be explored further, especially for the operator mains in the audience jumping over to ascent.
As our second map. Today we get a real, great showcase of killjoy’s impact at the pro level. As such, we get awesome setups for defense and offense, and we get to see the real impact of her kid holistically as well as her ultimate. Let’S start off by showing off envy stranglehold b setup with cypher and killjoy. This was the first variant shown and we’re going to start in our trusty private match then jump into the round to see the effect. So the goal here is to make the exit from b garage into sight as painful as humanly possible, which would be due in this way at the end of speed. What will be the century turret just in front of it is where envy will put the alarm bot in this variation, at least and from there the rest of the utility is to interface with ciphers cipher puts most of his stuff into mid to account for envy’s. More passive mid play style.
The camera goes here next to market, with the first tripwire in mid. The other tripwire goes here near the market door button. The thing we didn’t see very well were the cipher cages, which can be hard to find sometimes due to there being no indicator of them for the spectators. But my best guess is one was in b garage and one was in market. We just don’t know irregardless the kit. We can see interfaces with the other pieces of killjoys perfectly and that’s the nano swarms. These molotov-like grenades are incredible stall and airy denial and one of the their quirks is their ability to go through walls because of that envy. Tucks their first nano into the corner here next to the garage button, this war will do a lot of damage to someone caught in the tripwire, while also reaching into speedway to stop the rush with that done.
Let’S talk about how this round plays out. It’S very slow to start as senior trying to wait for impatient play from envy, but that’s just not happening with this squad. Finally, a sonar dart from silva towards a may tell cena to use their silva ultimate right after, while his teammates start to push out b garage catching fns early with the sheriffs from here. Akis shuts it down the chip for the turret and the pop of the trip wire. Let him know where the enemies are. Roughly. The nanoswarm isolates his first fight and pushes the other attackers back.
Akus goes down here because of a paranoia, but he’s created enough time for his teammates to get into sight and start the pressure early calypso takes all three picks on site and secures the round. I have to say i was really skeptical of killjoy on whether she would be ridiculously op or useless, and some of the creativity shown by both teams in this set had me quite excited to see the metagame development going forward. The flip side of killjoy’s impact on the meta can be seen specifically in her ultimate as an attacking tool. At first glance, i thought her ultimate would be incredibly underwhelming. 50. Second deploy time just stunned. It can be destroyed and shows its radius on the minimap. So its origin point is easy to find. I really thought it would be terrible until i saw the reality of how much you need to respect this tool at all levels of play without fail in every single scenario.
In this tournament, when a killjoy detain was set down enemies vacated that radius immediately or in some cases, used mad counter utility, as in one moment where a silva ultimate used, two shots to break the detain through the walls, a massive utility trade to get that ultimate Off the table about 40 seconds into this round after the opening, faints and thrusts by both teams, c9 slowly moves up mid and past archway to market michonne. Kiljoy creeps into the corner here and waits for his moment, relic smokes towards mid-spawn the usual tell for a split b take and then it happens. Mitch drops to the tain and let’s pause and look at the impact of this placement.
If you’re a defender, it is now dangerous to stand in all of these areas tree room, the garden path to the heaven jump, all the bottom mid and b market in some of the b site, let’s unpause and watch what envy does in response, caboose immediately peels Off and sees the omen smoke and starts watching market in case it is a b hit on the main map. We can also see aek is forced out of his spot on site and now look at all of this free real estate towards a site once the detain pops c9 will know that no one is in tree and is now safe to pinch. A the benefits here are huge: it’s almost like smoking off tree, but you don’t want to use other valuable utility like paranoias or omen smokes.
It lets them burst onto a site and eventually win the round. This kind of creativity with ultimates is some of the best stuff the valorem produces. I really want to see more developed in this regard, and i think killjoy would continue to shake up the meta, especially with the new changes to sage coming into effect. At the time of this video’s writing speaking of killjoy’s impact, we’re going to end our ascent talk today by showing the various other setups used by killjoy players throughout this tournament, starting with the cipher killjoy variations used by envy on b site.
Obviously, we just went over the base setups earlier, so let’s now get into the variations used to keep the defense guessing. The big change here is the placement of the nano swarms, as well as the alarm bond. The idea is for the killjoy player to hide in this cubby here and use the swarms as a way to 1 prevent people from clearing the cubby. If you pop the swarm further out, but also in conjunction with the sniper utility force enemies down speedway, it lets the defense, create a frag alley and wipe out whole rushes very fast. The turret remains of the same spot as already shown, and the cipher camera, and one trip rider remain in mid for the passive mid hold.
The other small variation is a more retake oriented setup, with both swarms utilized in the corners of the workshop here. The main idea is to save the swarms for the retake, if possible, because when popped, they clear some of the most annoying areas for the defense pushing in the side stairs and the corner box speedway area. This was done typically on a solo hold setup with no cipher support. Moving over to a we saw, a few interesting looks as well as cool utility spread strategies employed by various teams. The first setup is for a solo, a hold to allow for middle b stacks. The turret goes on top of the bricks near aim main or in this alternative spot here, with the first nanoswarm within a main itself. The solo hole part comes from the alarm-bot nanoswarm combo inside a tree room.
This does a sufficient job as an early warning system. For an a-main split and allows the solar killjoy to focus primarily on the a main fight, the other variation was a spread of killjoy’s utility to help with passive mid intel when ciphers wanted to invest their kit entirely. On b, the turret moves to the market cubby and one nanoswarm has moved off trade to inside market as a stall for mid pushes. This was usually complemented with a heaven or tree support passive inside of the garden, a quick note for attacking killjoys. The big thing we saw in ascent was almost all killjoys would put their turret here to watch for b, main aggression. It’S awesome intel and besides the occasional mid-turret placement like this, this was almost always where it went on to our last map.
Today we are back at good old split in the team envy versus dignitas match in the lower bracket semi-finals and we’re starting off with abusing tendencies once again to create giant holes in the defense. It’S very common on all maps in ballarat to play very fast executes during the pistol rounds. It’S simple, the pistols aren’t very good at extreme ranges. Usually you don’t have enough utility to get through drawn out attrition routes generally. That means rushes and early full commit plays, become more standard. Envy will abuse that in this round. In this way, the round starts with envy, putting two players towards a to push up ramp. To complement this. Their omen will smoke both heaven window and screens the sound cues of players pushing ramp and the obvious a execute smokes cause. A seismic rotate watch. The minimap here as two players only push into a so much gets rotated over, like we’ve covered in previous videos. All good fakes require full commitment. Both these envy players are going to die in this attempt to really sell it to the defense.
Caboose gets traded out by def and sees the big rotate from dig and right away. The remaining empty players start pushing amid and just walls into a free b site because of the over rotate with the fake sole and the spike down digger. Just way too. Out of position to respond as adequately and envy were just given the easiest pistol round ever. Let’S just remember how hard it is traditionally to take b-side through mid, it would have been a nightmare and every circumvent that perfectly moving to our next round in this series. Let’S talk about how to use bait peaks to your fullest benefit, especially in the operator meta. Using movement abilities to draw the first op shot can open up picks that would have otherwise been difficult to get watch out. Envy do it here, after some pokes in mid envy, start taking hard mid control for the mid to beast. Split and inside of b garage, mommy and akus are going to combo here to take out shanks instantly. Instead of taking a traditional double peek and risking one or both people being picked, akus readies a satchel and shoots across being main due to shanks being a human.
I know what a nerd he’s not immune to instincts taking over. He sees the movement and flicks for the shot instantly he gets picked by mummy, allowing the b split to go off without hitch takes a bit of coordination, but oftentimes. This can work better than a flashbang or a smoke, because at the end of the day, as people get better, they won’t turn away from these flashes. They’Ll trust their crosshair placement and take the shot still giving them decent odds to get the pick and fall back. It’S also taking advantage of movement abilities in a different way that most people definitely won’t be expecting, at least until we’ve really settled into the game months or maybe even years from now for our last round today, c9 showcased. What i think will be the new standard on split going forward with the reverberations of the sage, nerf still being undetermined in the tournament scene.
People were rightly questioning how teams will transition and defense split going forward, and i think c9 were one step ahead with what the commentators were. Calling this set it and forget it. Defense with the use of tripwires and alarm bots from cypher and killjoy c9 can essentially safely place, sights and know exactly when the attackers make their moves and roughly where they are. So it’s the alarm button to row, room a tripwire at a ramp and the turf by a main, the other tripwire goes into mail room. The round starts off with some pressure towards a from sentinels, but eventually they back off and rotate sewers to mid, and you can watch the chain of intel from here, sandals poke into rope room. It pops the alarm, bot and instantly omen on a smokes made as a response seen.
I know now that someone is in mid and might go rough stain, but this found out shortly after that they may instead be going mid to b when they pop the tripwire. In the mailroom mitch takes a guess that it might be a b split and pops to b main and gets a great opening pick confirming that it is a b split from here. It’S picks and trades for the round win, i think, going forward. People should keep their eyes out for much more passive mid plays from split defenses. Now that sage has been given the shortie to the back of the head by riot. I fully expect cypher killjoy to become the new defensive synergy and i would recommend sagebeans consider those picks as a fallback now that their favorite girl has been nerfed and remember if you want to improve, win more gunfights and get the rank.
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